MEDIA COURTHOUSE — An Upper Chichester police detective waived formal arraignment Wednesday on charges that he injured a pedestrian and left the scene while drunk driving in a personal vehicle off-duty.

John Peter Montgomery Jr., 49, a veteran of the force, is charged with aggravated assault while driving under the influence, a second-degree felony, and accidents involving death or personal injury, a third-degree felony. If convicted, he would face a possible maximum prison sentence of 10 years for the DUI charge as well as seven years for the accidents charge, which requires motorists to stop at the scene of an accident. He is also charged with driving under the influence.

Montgomery, of Aston, is a veteran criminal investigator with the Upper Chichester Police Department who has also worked with the Delaware County District Attorney’s Criminal Investigation Unit on narcotics cases.

Pennsylvania State Police Cpl. Michael Santos was called to investigate a one-vehicle crash in the 2800 block of Larkin Road in Upper Chichester at 11:22 p.m. Jan. 9, according to a criminal complaint. Santos was told that the operator of the vehicle was an off-duty Upper Chichester officer that had struck a pedestrian. The scene of the crash is a residential area south of Route 322, not far from Montgomery’s home.

When Santos responded, he encountered Montgomery with an Upper Chichester officer at the intersection of Chichester Avenue and Chelsea Parkway, about 1 1/2 miles from the accident scene, according to the complaint. While speaking with Montgomery, Santos said he noticed that he had bloodshot and glassy eyes, as well as a strong odor of alcohol on his breath.

Montgomery allegedly told Santos that he had been driving his Ford 150 pickup truck on Larkin Road when he struck what he thought was a deer. He said that he turned around to check what had happened, but did not see anything. He drove away, but was stopped by an Upper Chichester patrol officer a short time later and detained.

Santos wrote in his complaint that Montgomery “admitted to having had a couple of beers at a friend’s house” earlier that evening, “but nothing since crashing.”

Montgomery allegedly showed signs of impairment while performing two field sobriety tests and a preliminary breath test showed a positive result for the presence of alcohol.

Montgomery was then taken into custody and transported to the Media state police barracks, where he was given another breath test that allegedly showed a blood alcohol content of 0.143, nearly twice the legal limit of 0.08.

Santos noted in the complaint that the 43-year-old victim was taken to Crozer-Chester Medical Center and treated for serious injuries, including a broken right clavicle and a broken left fibula.

The victim said he had been walking on Larkin Road wearing reflective bands around his legs and a flashing red light on his back when he was struck from behind. The impact of the crash broke off the side-view mirror of Montgomery’s pickup truck.

Upper Chichester Solicitor Michael Pierce previously said Montgomery was in his own private vehicle and on his own time when the crash occurred. He was placed on “limited duty” following the crash but was still working a non-patrol shift with the department. The solicitor said Montgomery would be allowed to maintain that status until the final disposition of the criminal charges against him.

Joe Grace, a spokesman for the state Attorney General’s office, previously confirmed the state is prosecuting the case on a referral from the Delaware County District Attorney’s office.

Senior Deputy Attorney General Christopher Phillips is prosecuting. Montgomery, who remains free on unsecured $50,000 bail, is represented by defense attorney Mark Much.

Online court records did not indicate a judge had been assigned or pretrial conference date had been set by Wednesday afternoon.

comments powered by Disqus